Wolf found dead by roadside, another still missing after escaping Greater Vancouver Zoo
Zoo plans to reopen Saturday, with one wolf unaccounted for
The Greater Vancouver Zoo says one of the wolves that escaped its enclosure this week, after the perimeter fence was deliberately cut, has been found dead on a roadside, and another wolf is still missing.
The zoo in the Aldergrove community of Langley, B.C., has been closed for three days while workers and conservation officers searched for the wolves, which Langley RCMP suspect got loose when someone deliberately damaged the animals' enclosure.
The zoo's deputy general manager Menita Prasad says the facility's perimeter fence and the enclosure that housed nine adult grey wolves and six pups had both been deliberately cut early Tuesday, allowing the escape.
Langley RCMP are investigating what appears to be a case of unlawful entry and vandalism that involved damage to the wolves' enclosure.
"I can just tell you that there was damage done to the enclosure to allow the wolves to exit. At this point, there's no surveillance, so we don't have any information to indicate how they got in or suspect information," Cpl. Holly Largy said in an interview Wednesday.
Prasad said in a news conference Thursday that searchers were "heartbroken'' to find a three-year-old female wolf called Chia dead by the side of 264 Street in Aldergrove.
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She says Tempest, a one-year-old female wolf, is still missing and believed to be in the vicinity of the zoo.
"As a result of this senseless act, our wolf pack has lost two family members,'' Prasad said Thursday. "We watched these wolves grow up. We consider the animals at the zoo a part of our family.''
Prasad says Tempest is a "shy wolf'' that poses no threat to public safety but that anyone who sees the animal should not approach her but should call authorities to report the location.
"Tempest, who is out there right now, they're just trying to get back home. You know, they're not dangerous," she said.
Search ongoing for remaining wolf
Chia was listed by the zoo's website as the oldest member of its pack. Prasad said Tempest was born last year at the zoo.
She said the "search and rescue operation'' would continue and is asking for the public's help "to reunite Tempest with her family.''
"She is a small wolf with grey brown puppy fur and white markings on her muzzle and her brow,'' Prasad said.
According to Prasad, the zoo, which is located about 55 kilometres outside of Vancouver, plans to reopen on Saturday.
Anyone who sees the missing wolf is encouraged to keep a safe distance and report the animal immediately to the Report all Poachers and Polluters (RAPP) line at 1-877-952-7277.
With files from CBC News